The governor of a province in Pakistan is encouraging all universities to require that a study of the Quran become part of the college syllabus.
According to The Christian Post, Punjab Gov. Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said the Quran will help students “win favor of Allah Almighty” and become “good human beings through the right understanding of the Holy Quran.”
The governor, who is chancellor of universities, has asked a seven-member committee to bring him recommendations on how to implement a study of the Quran into the syllabus.
The group’s recommendations are due May 22.
Meanwhile, a statement from CLAAS-UK, a Christian legal advocacy organization, says forcing non-Muslim students to study the Quran will have a “negative impact.”
“It is sad that for minorities, especially Christians who are living in large numbers in Punjab, their religious and fundamental rights are totally ignored,” Nasir Saeed, director of CLAAS-UK, said. “No alternative program has been announced for non-Muslim students of Punjab universities.
“It will promote bigotry and hatred against non-Muslims in Pakistani society, something which is already on the rise,” he added.
In 2017, the National Assembly and Senate in Pakistan voted to pass a bill that would make the teaching of the Quran mandatory in all schools and colleges in the country.
The Compulsory Teaching of the Holy Quran Bill 2017 only applies to Muslim students.
“It will lead toward spreading goodness and auspiciousness and toward ending chaos and uncertainty,” the bill said, saying studying would make “the divine message understood, ensure the response of society, encourage peace and tranquility, promote the supreme human values of truth, honesty, integrity, character building, tolerance, understanding others’ point of view and way of life.”
Pakistan is ranked No. 5 on its 2020 World Watch List of 50 countries where it’s most difficult to be a Christian, according to Open Doors USA.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Undefined Undefined
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.